3 137 and Columbia University’s Athens Curatorial Project are very happy to invite you to Polykatoikia.
Athens Curatorial Project is a collective undertaking of thirteen undergraduate students from various academic backgrounds, who have spent the past month living in Exarcheia and studying the history of the Greek present. Working with 3 137 (Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Kosmas Nikolaou, and Paky Vlassopoulou) and with independent curator Evita Tsokanta, the students draw on their experience in Greece to present the exhibition Polykatoikia.
The artworks use both reclaimed materials and assemblage to explore the idea of “repurposing” and its political, anthropological, and physical role in producing a modern Athens. The exhibition uses the concept of polykatoikia—literally, “many residences”—as a framework for examining the way public space, historical narrative, and tradition are repurposed and reconceptualized across many temporalities.
The polykatoikia—literally, “many residences”—serves as a framework for examining the way public space, historical narrative, and tradition are repurposed and reconceptualized. In providing the space for the thirteen artists featured in this exhibition to come together as a collective, the polykatoikia inspires reflection on the way these iconic structures allow new social relations to form in response and resistance to a continuously shifting cultural landscape.
This exhibition explores the repurposing of the past to build the present, producing the Athens we see today. In investigating the ways in which Athens challenges the notion that the ancient and the modern were ever truly distinct to begin with, this exhibition pushes back against the two as disparate entities.
What is celebrated, hidden, and rejected in the development of the modern? What is myth, what is imagined, and what is silent? And what are we to make of what remains?
In challenging the confines of linear historical time, these questions transform the polykatoikia from a symbol of modernity into a site of many temporalities and narratives. This exhibition examines the dialogues, binaries, and continuities that inform the very process of “repurposing”—a process of adaptation and transformation.
Artists and curators:
Uwa Akhere, John Luke Bruni, Lilly Cao, Sunny Chen, Amy Greenberger, Rachel Marcovich, Ibby O’Carroll, Kate Steiner, Anika Tsapatsaris, Jake Van de Walle, Jason Wang, Crystal Xie, Susie Zhu